Our client is a tenant of a Housing Association. She has a two bed room flat where she had lived for 18 years and brought up her family there. She was widowed in 2009 and had health problems. Although dependent on a small private income she also received housing benefit. The bedroom tax applied from 1st April 2013 which meant she was £14 a week short on her rent. The housing association claimed possession.
Moss & Co filed a defence based on unreasonableness. An outright possession order was avoided. The client has retained her property. An application has been made for a discretionary Housing Benefit payment to avoid arrears increasing.
This case illustrates the unfairness of the new rules whether you call the policy, “removal of the spare room subsidy” or more accurately the “bedroom tax”. The names do not matter when a tenant is about to loose their home.
Sometimes it seems that government policy is designed to punish those already suffering the serious disadvantages of bereavement and ill health. Legal Advice is essential in these cases and in the main district judges are sympathetic to tenants with problems created by the bedroom tax policy.
You may want to look at our other Housing or Benefits cases to see examples of how a resolute approach can pay dividends when your home is at risk.